View synonyms for savory



[ sey-vuh-ree ]


, more sa·vor·y or (Rare) sa·vor·i·er, most sa·vor·y or (Rare) sa·vor·i·est.
  1. having a salty, spicy, or piquant flavor; not sweet:

    Plantains, though they look very similar to bananas, can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, as they take on other flavors really well.

  2. having or suggesting the flavor of umami:

    A farmhouse cheddar is combined with Italian black truffles for a distinctive earthy, savory flavor.

  3. pleasant or agreeable in taste or smell:

    Savory aromas fill the air as our friendly staff serves up a variety of rich Southwestern dishes.

  4. pleasing, attractive, or agreeable:

    The album is a savory blend of jazz and Afrobeat.


, plural sa·vor·ies.
  1. British. an aromatic, often spicy course or dish served either as an appetizer or as a dessert, as pickled fish or brandied fruit.



[ sey-vuh-ree ]


, plural sa·vor·ies.
  1. any of several aromatic herbs belonging to the genus Satureja, of the mint family, especially S. hortensis summer savory or S. montana winter savory, having narrow leaves used in cooking.


/ ˈseɪvərɪ /


  1. any of numerous aromatic plants of the genus Satureja, esp S. montana ( winter savory ) and S. hortensis ( summer savory ), of the Mediterranean region, having narrow leaves and white, pink, or purple flowers: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
  2. the leaves of any of these plants, used as a potherb

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Other Words From

  • sa·vor·i·ly adverb
  • sa·vor·i·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of savory1

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English savori; replacing Middle English savure, from Old French savoure, past participle of savourer “to savor”; savor, -y 1

Origin of savory2

First recorded in 1400–50; Middle English saverei(e), saverai(e); probably an alteration (by influence of savory 1( def ) ) of Old French sarree, from Old English sætherie from Latin saturēia

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Word History and Origins

Origin of savory1

C14: probably from Old English sætherie, from Latin saturēia, of obscure origin

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

This step might sound a bit precious, but it breaks down the cheese in a way that leaves behind its savory flavor without compromising the breadcrumbs’ crunchy texture.

Maybe she’ll try mac and cheese in cupcake tins, she thinks, and maybe she’ll explore combining savory and sweet flavors in the vegetables.

Glossy, burnished onion makes for a savory-sweet light dinner in this tart.

Purchase healthier items, like packets of roasted nuts or other savory snacks.

Just plug in your waffle bowl maker and enjoy endless sweet and savory treats.

Kim is mocking the entire value system on which she built her career, as well as her own less-than-savory past.

I thought it was narratively satisfying—but it was not so savory.

Each firm, moist piece packs a provocative sweet and savory punch.

Top it with sweet and savory goop, and proclaim a new era in the world of pizza.

A simple woman with a sensational mission—the creation of pure savory delight.

The central dish was a pork-pie, flanked by savory little patties of sausage.

He took the chair and watched her while she set on the spider again and warmed her savory dish.

The savory ham was very appetizing, the Deacon was very hungry, and the argument was sophistical.

He brought in game of all kinds from the mountain and had it served in savory style at the National House.

She was so near that Dolph smelled the savory scents from her galley and began to "suffle" moisture in the corners of his mouth.


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More About Savory

What does savory mean?

Savory describes the kind of rich flavor that’s most often associated with foods like meats and roasted vegetables.

There are often considered to be five basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory, or umami.

Separately, savory is the name of several kinds of aromatic herbs of the mint family used in cooking, such as ones known as summer savory and winter savory.

In the U.K., the word savory is also used to refer to a fragrant and sometimes spicy course or dish. (Such a dish may or may not be described as savory in the popular sense.)

Example: That roasted mushroom dish was so savory—it had such a dark, rich flavor.

Where does savory come from?

Savory is the adjective form of the word savor, which ultimately derives from the Latin verb sapere, “to taste.” The first records of the use of the word savory as an adjective come from around the 1200s. Originally, it was simply used to describe a pleasing scent or taste. It wasn’t until around the 1500s that it started to be used in its modern sense to specifically describe the kind of rich flavor that chefs and foodies might otherwise call umami.

The flavor we call savory is hard to describe. But you know it when you taste it. It’s definitely not sweet or sour. It may be a bit salty—and salt brings out savory flavors. Steak is savory. Mushrooms are savory. Roasted eggplant is savory. Things described as savory are often rich and dark and have an umami flavor that a food scientist will tell you is usually the result of amino acids dancing with taste receptors in your mouth. By the way, the word umami is Japanese for “savory quality” or “delicious taste.” (And sorry for making you hungry.)

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of savory?

  • savoury (British English spelling)
  • savoriness (noun)
  • savorily (adverb)

What are some synonyms for savory?

What are some words that share a root or word element with savory



What are some words that often get used in discussing savory?


How is savory used in real life?

Savory is used in the context of cooking and eating, and it’s typically used positively to refer to things that taste really good.



Try using savory!

Is savory used correctly in the following sentence?

That candy was so sugary and savory that it made my mouth pucker up!